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General News    H3'ed 2/24/11

Republicans Get Caught With Hands in the Cookie Jar

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Message Roger Shuler

Rogers sits on the legislature's budget writing committee. He questions spending BP money on anything other than oil spill litigation.

Troy King, Strange's predecessor as attorney general, also found the deal troubling:

The memo says the attorney general's office claims there are no restrictions on the funds use. Former Attorney General Troy King, who was attorney general at the time, knew nothing of the transfer. King has butted heads with Riley over the Illegal Gambling Task Force and suing BP.

King also questions the use of BP money to fight gambling.

"The state of Alabama represented to BP that any money we received from them were going to mitigate and pay for damages that was done by them on Alabama's gulf coast," King said.

What's our take on the story? It seems clear that Bob Riley and Luther Strange have formed an alliance, through their mutual ties to Bradley Arant, essentially trying to keep the Riley agenda alive even though Robert Bentley now is governor.

What is the Riley agenda? Ensuring that his family members and cronies can continue to benefit from state dollars seems to be the No. 1 action item. Our guess is that Rob Riley, Minda Riley Campbell, and the fine attorneys at Bradley Arant have enjoyed having their sticky fingers in the state cookie jar for eight years--and they don't want to see them removed.

It's all reminiscent of a song called "Zanz Kant Dan z" by the immortal John Fogerty. The song is a thinly veiled shot at Saul Zaentz, the head of Fantasy Records when Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival were tearing up the charts in the late 1960s and early '70s. Zaentz filed a lawsuit, and the song's title was changed to "Vanz Kant Dan z." The tune is on Fogerty's Centerfield album, and I am proud to say that my cherished vinyl copy has the original title for its most controversial song. (I keep telling Mrs. Schnauzer the record might be worth something someday; she's not holding her breath.)

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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